Thursday, December 1, 2011

On this the beginning of the year

Today is somewhat of a high point, I suppose.  Today or this morning at around 10:39 Pacific Standard Time I was born in a town near Los Angeles.  Not a big hoopla really for anyone but me but it did encourage me to become a little thoughtful and reflective (are these two different actions or one)

I don't remember much in terms of my young life.  I know I was born and spent my early days in Culver City near MGM studios where my father worked.  I was the youngest of three sibs.  Two older brothers. 
One of my earliest memories though is the Easter Bunny who I swear I saw one morning.  My bedroom was in the front of the house and I had a set of double french doors that led to the front or living room.  I remember waking up Easter morning early (before dawn) and seeing the Easter Bunny.  A rather tall fellow with a pink bow around his neck and was holding holding a basket.  The Bunny turned around and held its finger to its lips - telling me to be quiet.  His being there was out secret.  I remember this vividly the white fur, the little tail, the big pink bow...  Strangely, I didn't receive my basket in my bedroom - it was always on the breakfast table, but the bunny came to see me in the room.  That vision has never dimmed over the years.

I was told that when I was 4 or 5 I would get up early in the morning and sit on the curb in front of the house. (No mean feat - since the yard was long and our house sat back to the rear of the lot).  I would get up, sit on the curb and sit away - just singing the sun up.  To this day I still sing to myself, to cheer myself up, to express joy.  I'm not the most talented singer although I can sing and have a pleasant voice but it stays a really private gift to myself.  I do however sing more in the bath tub than the curb although I have been known to sing on the front porch.  I no longer get up at 5 in the morning to sing.  Age does bring wisdom.

I remember the time my brother ate grapes in front of me and wouldn't share.  I still don't eat grapes much although that is more to Caesar Chavez rather than my brother.  I remember trying to bury the duck in a hole.  This was totally by accident since we were originally trying to dig a duck pond fill it with water to give the duck a swimming hole.  No one told small children that they had to line the pond first - the resulting muddy hole caused the duck to almost succumb.  My mother rescued it and we got in a great deal of trouble. 
Holes and mud seem to figure prominently in my youth.  When older and at a different house we flooded the flower bed outside the bedroom window and took turns jumping out the window into the mud.  Totally killed the begonias and again raised my mother's ire.  I have lingering guilt about the horrid things we did to my mothers flowers.  She died when I was young so that may have encouraged that feeling of guilt. 

I remember learning to read and loving the whole process of reading.  My grandmother gave us politically incorrect Southern readers from the '20's to brush up or reading skills.  While the childrens names escape me - not Dick and Jane - I remember the books were illustrated with photos of the period.  Picking cotton looked fun to me . (I told you they were politically incorrect.)  Growing up in Southern California with a family based originally in Texas had it's charms.

So what then does 60 mean to me?  I'm not sure.  Mentally I don't feel 60, although my body is being difficult these days and not working it's best.  I have a strong interest in learning.  I love finding new things to keep me thinking and want to learn more.  I've learned to be comfortable with myself which I couldn't do when I was younger.  I've accepted my shortcomings and still try to resolve the issues they bring.  I try to understand myself and learn to forgive myself my flaws.  But I don't feel old except the rare times the bionic leg starts hurting more than usual or a twinge suddenly makes me long for younger bones.

But suddenly I am older - older than 59 and yet younger than 70.  With the exception of my mother, the women in my family are long lived so I hope that I will be the same way.  My grandmother died when 89, my one aunt in her '80's I think as did my great aunt. My other aunt is hale and hearty.  So I hope I live as long as they do.  I still have things I want to finish and times not waiting.

So I give myself this birthday wish and that is to be happy and accomplish something this year and the year after and the year after that.  To not be idle and to keep going.   Happy Birthday to me.

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